Mary Mouser Addresses Fans Who Think Sam Is the Real Villain


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Mary Mouser is photographed in a black dress in 2019.

In “Cobra Kai,” Mary Mouser, 25, portrays Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) daughter Samantha. While Daniel was the undisputed protagonist of the “Karate Kid” film franchise, the show examines if the martial artist is actually a hero. Audiences are given his rival Johnny Lawrence’s (William “Billy” Zabka) perspective on certain events, which does not always put the owner of the Miyagi-Do Karate dojo in the best light. Overall, Daniel is a kind-hearted person but makes rash decisions and has difficulty forgiving people for their past transgressions. For this reason, some fans view the father-of-two and those who align with him as antagonistic. This is especially true of Samantha because she also previously mistreated her childhood friend Aisha (Nichole Brown) and made immediate judgments about Tory (Peyton List).


Mary Mouser Commented on Whether Sam Is a Villain

In a March interview with EUPHORIA. Magazine, Mary Mouser addressed fans who believe Daniel and Sam are the actual antagonists of “Cobra Kai.” She suggested that she has somewhat of an issue with this opinion.  

“[A]fter seeing people’s reactions especially, seeing people say, ‘Miyagi-Do are the bad guys, that’s the team that is causing all the problems,’ and I was like, ‘Whoa, hold on a minute, that’s not the way I read the script. I read a very different script from the one you’re reading,’” explained the actress. 

She went on to say that while she does not view “Samantha as a villain,” she does understand why people have that belief. She agreed with the notion that many of Sam’s problems are “self-inflicted.” The actress also stated that her character is an inexperienced high school student simply reacting to a complicated situation. 

“But when you’re caught up in the moment and as a teenager, especially, as somebody who’s walking into this roaring karate world where it’s been established before she was even born, there’s a little bit of just being thrown to the wolves. [She] had to figure it out when not really knowing all the answers yet,” said the 25-year-old. 

Mouser asserted that Sam has “a lot left to learn” and “needs guidance.” The actress also stated that the teenager could benefit from taking the time to understand other people’s viewpoints. 

“I would like to see Samantha see the perspectives that I’ve gotten to see as Mary,” explained the actress. “To look at it from the other sides and say, ‘OK, maybe there’s something of merit here: maybe there’s some truth to this, maybe there’s something I can connect to here.’ I think she’s got a long way to go, but I think she’s just like the rest of us, figuring it out.”


The Actress Shared Similar Information on a Recent Panel

While speaking on the Paley Front Row panel, alongside the creators of “Cobra Kai” and her co-stars, Mouser shared similar information about Sam being perceived as a villain. She discussed the fact that her character suffers from mental health issues in the show’s third season. As fans are aware, Sam develops PTSD after her brutal fight with Tory during the season 2 finale. Mouser explained that this storyline helped some fans recognize that her character is relatable and complicated. 

“I think Samantha got passed down the LaRusso title of being the real villain and the real bully and that’s totally fine and that’s fun. Now, I … would be like you’re completely crazy that’s not the facts at all but it was fun definitely to get to show this other side of Samantha, the version of Samantha that I’ve known all along that she may be making decisions that people don’t agree with but she’s got a really good heart,” said the actress. 

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